Spirit and Letter: Speech Acts in Selected Medieval Texts

  • Linda Marie RouillardEmail author
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


Rash boons, deceptive obedience, and forged missives produce a tension between the letter of the text and the spirit of the text. Beginning with J.L. Austinʼs theory of speech acts, this chapter considers the value and power of womenʼs speech in contrast to the authoritative words of men who nonetheless sometimes find themselves ensnared in linguistic traps set for them by the weaker sex. Womenʼs silence sometimes allows her to eventually have the last word.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of ToledoToledoUSA

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